I was June’s speaker at my RWA chapter Land of Enchantment Romance Authors. My talk covered point of view—specifically deep point of view. Deep POV is when the reader forms an emotional bond with the placeholder character and experiences the story through that character’s reactions and emotions. It is a powerful writing technique.
I believe learning to use it is how I moved from unpublished to published.
There are many debates within the writing community about head hopping between characters during a single scene. Many writers can tell wonderful stories by alerting the reader to what each character is experiencing/thinking at that moment. Nora Roberts, a prolific romance author, head hops very successfully. Unfortunately, not all writers have her skill.
When a scene starts in deep POV, the reader should be very quickly bonded with whichever character she will experience the scene. I would recommend by no later than the second or third sentence. You don’t want your reader flailing around, confused. Confusion isn’t the same as suspense and will lead to the reader setting your story aside.
Deep POV is very similar to telling a story in first person POV, but instead of using “I”, third person he/she is used. Yet, like first person, only one person lives the scene. Unless someone is telepathic, there is no way to know what the other characters are thinking. Body language becomes key to interpreting (not always correctly) the other characters.
Filter words can unconsciously raise barriers between the reader and character. Watch out for he thought, she felt, he realized, she assumed. Such words remind the reader that she is not truly the character and chip away at the emotional bond formed with the POV character.
I am a firm believer in using deep POV to create an emotional experience for the reader. If you want more info, put “deep point of view” into your search engine, and the internet will provide you with many possible links.